Theories, Methods and Material for English Learners

Alternate Tutoring Project: Enrique
Enrique is currently in the 11th grade is resides in the Midwest. While born in the United States, Enrique and his family moved to Mexico when he was only four years old. For the first two years, Enrique’s family lived in various parts of Mexico. They came back to the United States to attend a wedding and ended up staying for six months, giving Enrique an opportunity to develop English skills. Enrique’s family returned to Mexico, where they remained for the following six years. They eventually returned to the U.S. and settled in the Midwest, where Enrique and his family currently reside.
Enrique has had several experiences in both his native country and the United States. Enrique was given the opportunity to learn English in both countries. In Mexico, Enrique received one period of English. He was able to utilize these skills when he would come and visit in the United States. Enrique was also provided educational experiences in both countries. In Mexico, Enrique received one period of English instruction per day. He was also provided with an American education in the United States. However, Enrique has expressed his dislike for the American schooling system. He has expressed he enjoys his private school in Mexico better than his American school. Enrique’s school was spacious in Mexico and had outside corridors.
While Enrique did take English in Mexico, the English classes were basic and did not challenge him. He feels like he knew the English language better than his teachers. However, Enrique did not speak English outside of his English class, and thus, caused his English proficiency to decline. Enrique’s academic strengths, on the other hand, consist of his desire to become better at the English language in order to become more marketable in his desired profession (engineer). This is a large strength for Enrique and offers him the potential for success in any profession he chooses.
Enrique has several social-emotional learning strengths. All the moving back and forth from the U.S. to Mexico has made Enrique and is family extremely close. As a result, Enrique seems to have adequate relationship skills. Enrique also has goal-directed behavior. Enrique has dreams of becoming and engineer and is currently taking adequate steps to become one. While he has knowledge on both Spanish and English, he seeks to learn both languages better in order to become more marketable in the profession. Lastly, Enrique has both self-awareness and social-awareness. He understands his capabilities and is seeking to broaden then. He also understands he is not proficient at the English language and is taking the proper steps in order to better his proficiency. Overall, Enrique has the social-emotional learning strengths required in order to become proficient at the English language, and thus, successful in his chosen profession.
Funds of knowledge refers to the intellectual resources a person acquires through their community (Moll et. al., 1992). By moving back and forth between Mexico and the United States, Enrique’s funds of knowledge consist of having knowledge of both Spanish and English. Community cultural wealth, on the other hand, refers to the cultural resources that students of color develop in their communities and families (Heyman, 1990). For example, students of color tend to have aspirational capital, referring to high educational aspirations typically found amongst student of color (Yosso, 2005). For Enrique, his community cultural wealth is his desire to learn and become a successful engineer. He has high aspirational capital, meaning he has a desire to become successful even though he may lack the English proficiency required to enter the profession.
There are several areas of growth for Enrique in regards to English language development. Enrique is able to speak English. While he does get confused on certain words, he is able to adequately express himself using the English language. Furthermore, while Enrique is able to read English, his reading comprehension seems to be dependent on the subject. He is able to read English words, but seem to lack the ability to comprehend what he is saying when it comes to specific subjects. For instance, Enrique was able to comprehend the story on dinosaurs, but seemed to lack comprehension in the story that referenced the Wizard of Oz. This could be due to culture differences. Thus, Enrique lacks comprehension of aspects that tend to be related to American culture. Lastly, in regards to writing, Enrique is able to communicate proper through the use of written words. While lacking grammatical skills, he is able to properly express thought through written words.
This information can be used to create a needs assessment and tutoring approach. In regards to Enriques funds of knowledge and community culture wealth, Enrique has the desire to learn more and be successful, giving him an advantage when it comes to learning English. Enrique’s abilities can be useful when it comes to learning. However, Enrique has several needs that need to be addressed in order for him to be proficient at the English language. These needs consist of reading comprehension and writing skills. In regards to tutoring approaches, Enrique needs assistance when it comes to writing and reading comprehension. One-on-one instruction needs to be given to Enrique so he can fully understand which areas of the language he is struggling with. One-on-one instruction will help better him in the areas he is currently lacking in. Thus, those are the areas that Enrique needs to focus on.

Heyman, J. (1990). The emergence of the waged life course on the United States-Mexico border. American Ethologist, 17, 348-359.
Moll, L., Amanti, C., & Neff, D. (1992). Funds of Knowledge for Teaching: Using a Qualitative Approach to Connect Homes and Classrooms. Theory Into Practice, 31(2), 132-141.
Yosso, T. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69-91.

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